Aug 08, 2022 3:41 AM
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None. 

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"Get on my side? For what? She's not coming along," I reply.

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Prota expresses confusion about why they would need Feldspar's support. 

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"Get on my side? For what? She's not coming along," you reply.

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Step 19

Prota does not yet know how Feldspar can help. Glint should explain the basic idea in the next prompt. The primary benefit is obtaining a shipment of Great-Aunt Feldspar's magically light and durable pottery, which is useful for storing supplies, lightening the load for travel, and selling as trade goods in nearby villages. In addition, the influence with the clan could benefit Prota if they ask for help from any clan members during preparations. Such help may include modest supplies or favors that Prota could not otherwise get on their own. Glint will point out that although Prota has amassed some supplies in preparation for the journey, including a cart and mule, their chances are not great without a way to supplement their supplies or make up for unexpected losses. 

Feldspar's help would require a commitment to return the majority of profits from the sale of her pottery, but a commission on the sale would still be helpful to Prota. Glint knows this, and knows that Feldspar usually sells to traveling merchants. One such merchant, Gyreson, passes through Prota's village routinely. He sold Prota's father a harvest sickle last year. Gyreson pays Feldspar for her pottery and re-sells it at the larger towns for a tidy profit. Glint knows this, but has not been able to convince Feldspar to risk sending anyone from her family to sell her wares. 

[Feldspar was not always cautious and insular. She visited the Blue in her youth and sacrificed a leg to gain her magic, but what she saw on her journey frightened her.] 

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"Well, greenjay," explains your uncle, "there's more kinds of help than just mine. I heard you got a cart and mule, and a decent stock of money and supplies for the trip. That's a good start. But you'll be needing every advantage you can get. Stuff breaks, or gets stolen, or you simply run out of food and need to buy more. Between foraging and bartering, what you've got might be barely enough to make it to the Blue and back. But in my experience, barely enough ain't enough. Now, there's more'n one way to make up the difference - plenty of opportunity to use your wits or the work of your hands to earn your keep - but the better your start, the better your chances. 

"As you know, ol' Auntie Feldspar has a clay-magic. Her jars and bowls are lighter 'n' tougher than anything bluse of the Floating Cities. She usually barters 'em to the villagers and sells the excess to traveling merchants - like that fellow Gyreson, you remember him, he comes by every year and he sold your pa that fancy sickle? An' those merchants carry the pottery to the larger towns and re-sell 'em for twice the price. You take a load of that pottery to any town bluse of here, and you'll be able to sell it for a nice bag o' coins for the village and a tidy commission for your journey besides. And those jars are just wonderful for keepin' your supplies safe and your wagon light in the meantime. Trouble is, you've first got to persuade Feldspar to trust you with 'em. 

"I tried tellin' Auntie she could skip the middleman by sendin' someone out to make the sale every now and then, but she wouldn't hear of it. Your Great-Aunt is a...complicated woman. She weren't always so scared of the outside. Once upon a time, she was the only one brave enough to risk the trip - that's how she got her pottery magic, see. Gave up a whole leg for it, she did, an' damned if she didn't just make herself a new one out of magic clay a week later! But she saw somethin' that spooked her good, and now she doesn't want family leavin' the village. Convincing her won't be easy, but it just might be worth your while, especially if you plan to call in any last-minute favors during tomorrow's preparations. She's got a lot of weight in this village, and she can make your work a lot easier - or a lot harder, if it comes to it. Up to you if it's worth the risk, greenjay; but as Auntie never liked your ol' Glint very much, you'd have to do this one by yourself." 

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None. 

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"Oh. I'll talk to her," I nod. "- if we store our stuff in the jars on the way, we'll have to find a way to wash them out before we try to sell them, will that be hard?"

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Prota agrees to talk to Feldspar. Prota also asks how hard it will be to wash food residue out of the jars before selling them. 

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"Oh. I'll talk to her," you nod to Glint. "- if we store our stuff in the jars on the way, we'll have to find a way to wash them out before we try to sell them, will that be hard?"

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Step 20

[Prota is correct. Some pottery may need to be washed before sale. Most common travel supplies will be either fresh water or dry goods, which are easy to clean out of a pot or jar. Fresh and foraged foods, such as berries, fish, or meat, are harder to clean. They can be kept outside the jars, eaten quickly, or dried for more easy storage. Glint is familiar with all these methods, and Prota may be assumed to have some basic cooking and food prep skills as well.] 

Washing more thoroughly requires soap. Serviceable soap can be made from animal fat and wood ash. Prota and Glint are familiar with this simple process. 

This conversation has been long enough for Prota to finish re-dressing Glint's wounds. The next prompt may now move the story into the morning, when preparations can begin and Prota can talk to Feldspar. Alternatively, the player may choose to have the conversation in the evening. The benefit of an evening conversation is more privacy with Feldspar and less pressure from other clan members who expect Feldspar to behave a certain way. The drawback is that it is late, and Feldspar will be tired and impatient. 

[To avoid the steadily-advancing Blue, villagers near the edge must remain at least partly nomadic. Winters are not harsh in this world, but can still be cold enough for snow, requiring moderately insulated shelters. Prota's family sleep in conical woven-grass or fabric structures with wooden frames, similar to a yurt, that can be quickly disassembled and moved when the village migrates gree.] The conversation with Feldspar may take place in the open near a communal fire-pit or breakfast area, or inside Feldspar's own yurt. 

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"Depends on what you put in 'em," shrugs Glint. "Most travel rations are just fresh water and dry goods. One good rinse should do for that. The tricky part is what to do with fresh food we catch or forage on the way. We don't have to use the jars for those, but if we do, I know where to find running water for a more thorough scrubbing. As long as we don't stain 'em with raw meat or berry juice, should be fine. And soap's just the right mix of fat and ash, so we can make it on the road if we need it." Glint pauses to examine your handiwork. The bandages are clean and well-secured. "Good work, and thanks. I think I'll turn in for the night." 

You have finished bandaging Glint, and night is falling. 

To avoid the steadily-advancing Blue, your people are partly nomadic. Your family, Feldspar included, sleep in conical woven-grass or fabric structures with wooden frames, similar to a yurt, that can be quickly disassembled and moved when the village migrates gree. At this stage of evening, Feldspar is likely retiring to bed in a nearby dwelling. You could try to catch her now, away from the judgmental eyes of Feldspar's clan allies, or you could wait until morning, when your Great-Aunt may be more well-rested and receptive, but harder to meet privately. It has been a long day for everyone, but tomorrow will be quite busy. 

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None.

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I go and find Feldspar on her way to bed, intending to assess how tired and cranky she is right now.

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